3D DOCUMENTATION TOWARDS HERITAGE CONSERVATION: A RAPID MAPPING APPROACH APPLIED TO BAHRAIN FORTS
Keywords: heritage conservation, 3D documentation, multi-sensor, 3D models, UAV photogrammetry, SLAM
Abstract. Rapid mapping techniques based on UAV photogrammetry and portable systems are increasingly helping cultural heritage sites’ digitization, in case of large contexts or complex accessibility. At the same time, a wider range of more consolidated image- and range-based approaches could be useful, but challenging to be applied depending on materials, accessibility, or light conditions. However, the fundamental issue of integrating and optimizing the large amount of metric data of different origins in 3D accurate models remains open. An integrated system is needed to support the work of expert conservator and restorers, as well as archaeological investigation, on onsite work and, mainly, on remote activity. This paper aims to present the metric survey project carried out in the Fort component of the World Heritage property Qal'at al-Bahrain – the Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun. The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) started the initiative towards the conservation of the historic forts of the Kingdom of Bahrain. This requires a tailored approach to the uniqueness and outstanding significance of the sites. The digital products are baseline data and support the future conservation decisions. The validation of the integrated approach adopted for the survey of the Qal’at al-Bahrain will be presented and discussed in this paper. The validation aims for the integrated pipelines are targeted focusing on the aspects connected to the repeatability and the applicability of the methodological approach in the other sites with the same context and features, and this may also lead to further future reflections related to the sustainability of the survey.